Would you like to be known as a great teacher? Who wouldn’t! It’s not that hard to move up a level or two. In fact, it’s downright simple. As I have told group leaders many times, “It’s not rocket science,” meaning that you and I aren’t creating complex atomic energy formulas, or designing a time machine device; we’re simply teaching the Bible and serving our group members. If you want to become a better Bible teacher, practice these 4 simple things and you’ll be on your way to developing into the teacher you’ve always wanted to be.
- Realize it’s all about them. Surprise! Your group’s Bible study isn’t about you. It is all about the members of your group, though. Don’t view yourself as the star attraction. Your group members are the ones on center stage. Love them, serve them, and think of them as you craft your Bible study. Don’t approach your Bible study with the thought, “I wonder what I’m going to say to them today?” or “Do I look fine?” Instead, realize that God has given you temporary leadership of some of His people. There’s the key – those people in your group are His, not yours! They come to your Bible study with hurts, needs, hopes, dreams, questions, concerns, and joys. Visualize them as you study, and make sure you know that they are the important ones, not you.
- Study your group members as much as you study the Word of God. Here’s where some teachers fall short. They forget to involve themselves with the members of their Bible study group at times other than the designated study. It’s important for you, the group leader, to live in the world of your group members. That means knowing where they live, what kind of car they drive, the company they work for, the members of their household, and so much more. When you know all these things, you’re in a better position to build Bible studies that address their needs.
- Practice vulnerability without sacrificing credibility. If you want to be a better teacher, don’t forget to occasionally let your group members “peek behind the curtain.” From time to time admit a frustration, a biblical concept you’re struggling to grasp, or a failure you’ve experienced. People tend to respond well when a leader comes down off the mountain and lives among the “normal people.” Please don’t try to convince your group that you’ve got life figured out, and that you have all the answers based on your knowledge of the Bible – they know that’s not true! Help your group members see you as a fellow learner, a student among students, and a pilgrim walking the same path they’re on.
- Help your group members learn how much they still need to learn. The reason I love studying the Bible is because I have realized I’ll never fully grasp it. It’s going to be a challenge to understand the depth of its content the rest of my life. I want my group members to come away with the same feeling of awe and wonder as they encounter God in His Word. Help your group members realize that learning is never finished. We should all strive to be what one friend of mine calls “Life-Long Learners” (or L3 for short).